Apple’s VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives is in Australia this week to mark 40 years in Australia with some important announcements that support Australians and the Planet as pretty much only Apple would.

The initiatives see Coding form part of tertiary education programs, they see huge support for Australia’s Indigenous communities and a big commitment to Aussie made green energy as part of a frankly mind-blowing commitment to the environment.

Tim Cook, Apple CEO says “We’re proud to celebrate Apple’s long history in Australia, and to deepen our shared commitment to protecting the planet and creating opportunity in people’s lives,”

“We’re fortunate to have so many great partners, colleagues, and customers across this country, and we’ll continue working together to make the world a more equitable and just place for all.”

Apple’s environmental goal is to become carbon neutral across every single area of their business. Now that doesn’t just mean turning the lights on at Apple stores, this means any impact Apple’s business has on the planet will be carbon Neutral.

How far does that reach? It includes their manufacturing supply chain – and your iPhone’s usage.

That’s right, Apple has used complex algorithms to include the power I use to charge my iPhone along with the other 1.8 billion Apple devices in use around the world in their own Energy usage calculations.

This means that every iPhone, Mac and iPad will be powered by renewable energy by 2030, no matter if you’re charging off plain and simple grid power or you’ve got Solar – Apple is covering your use in it’s Carbon offset programs.

As part of that, Apple has made a substantial clean energy purchase commitment from a new Wind Farm in Queensland.

Speaking in Australia, Lisa Jackson said “At Apple, we recognise the urgent need to address the climate crisis, and we’re accelerating our global work to ensure our products have a net-zero climate footprint across their entire lifecycle,”

“We are proud to play a part in Australia’s transition to a cleaner energy grid, and thrilled that Apple will soon support Australian customers’ use of their favourite products with clean energy.”

Apple’s first green power commitment within Australia is with the Upper Burdekin Wind Farm which will begin operations in 2026.

The investment Apple is making in clean energy from this Aussie site can provide the equivalent energy to power 80,000 homes.

Extending their carbon neutral commitment outside of their corporate operations is no small task. The corporate emissions from offices, travel and data centres along with retail stores were offset in April 2020 and have continued to do so since.

And don’t underestimate the scale of the commitment to offset the usage of the consumer purchased devices.

Apple’s calculations say that the electricity customers use to charge their Apple Devices represent 22 percent of the company’s global carbon footprint

Coding as a Tertiary topic for more students.

Another announcement today is a partnership with RMIT in Melbourne and UTS in Sydney to put Swift Coding education into these institutions as a four-week course allowing anyone who is at those Universities to add a Credit for Coding to their certifications.

This emphasises the importance of coding knowledge across all vocations, not just among potential programmers.

“UTS is excited to work with Apple to deliver engaging learning experiences that build skills to empower and enable future digital professionals,” said UTS Vice-Chancellor and President, Andrew Parfitt. “It’s imperative that learners of all ages and backgrounds are equipped with coding skills as part of their broader education at school and later in life. Coding is as crucial a tool as literacy and maths; it encourages critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity. We know that these are skills valued by employers and are in high demand in today’s workforce – no matter the job or career.”

“RMIT is proud to launch the Apple Foundation program in 2023. We believe this program will have a significant impact in supporting Australia’s innovation economy and its fast-growing technology sector by encouraging more learners to acquire in-demand coding and iOS app development skills and knowledge,” says RMIT Professor Calum Drummond AO, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor STEM College.

Support for Australia’s Indigenous communities

Finally, Apple has expanded the company’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) into Australia. This initiative ensures funding and support for local non profits who serve the Indigenous communities.

“We all have a part to play when it comes to creating a more equitable world,” said Alisha Johnson, Apple’s director of REJI. “Extending Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative to Australia is part of a long-term commitment from Apple to help support Australia’s Indigenous community by collaborating with organisations driving meaningful change.”

Initial grants from Apple will support five Aussie causes and programs:

— Deadly Connections: an Indigenous-led organisation that aims to directly address the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the child protection and justice systems.

— ID. Know Yourself: an Indigenous-led organisation that supports Aboriginal children living in the out-of-home-care system who have been impacted by cultural dispossession, systematic disadvantage, and complex trauma.

— First Australians Capital: a national Indigenous-led organisation that builds investment readiness and designs the right capital solutions for Indigenous businesses to thrive.

— Art Gallery of NSW: the gallery’s Djamu Program for Indigenous Art Education provides ongoing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to learn about art, culture and vocational pathways in the visual arts sector.

— Original Power: an Indigenous-led organisation that is the key initiator of the First Nations Clean Energy Network and has launched community led renewable energy projects in the Northern Territory and beyond to help overcome the structural barriers locking Indigenous communities out of the benefits of lower cost, clean energy.